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Liberty Notches 8 ECAC/IC4A Qualifiers

March 10, 2012
|  Myrtle Beach, S.C.
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Tim Abbott, shown here throwing the shot put, qualified for the IC4A meet in the discus with a personal-best throw of 160-11.

Liberty wrapped up its first track & field meet of the 2012 outdoor season in impressive fashion, Saturday at the Coastal Carolina Invitational. The Flames and Lady Flames combined to achieve eight new ECAC and IC4A-qualifying performances and won three events.

Men's Meet Recap
Three of the Flames' four IC4A qualifiers came in a single event, the men's discus. Tim Abbott, Ryan Smith and David Scouten all hit the IC4A standard, as Abbott threw 160-11 for fourth place, Smith reached 157-6 for sixth place and Scouten notched a 157-0 for seventh place.

Abbott improved his personal best from the 2011 season by nine feet while becoming the No. 8 men's discus thrower in program history. Meanwhile, Smith tacked on almost 12 feet to his previous best.

Liberty also posted an IC4A qualifier in the 4 x 100 relay, placing second in a time of 41.88 seconds. Roderick Spruel, Kyle Gill, Leonard Robbins and Anthony Settje formed the Flames' successful quartet.

Kolby Shepherd won the Coastal Carolina Invitational men's pole vault title for the second straight year, clearing 14-7.25. Teammates Matt Thompson (14-1.25) and Jon Drablos (13-7.25) finished in third and fourth places, respectively.

The Flames' other event victory came in the men's 200-meter dash, where Robbins clocked a time of 21.68 seconds.

Robbins' fellow sprinters Maxwell Asante (10.91) and Settje (10.92) placed second and third in the 100-meter dash. Meanwhile, Paul Arslain ran a 49.78 for the 400-meter dash to come in fifth.

In addition to his strong performance in the discus, Scouten also placed fourth with a 51-1 shot put. Classmate Kyle Wheeler high jumped 6-8.75 for third place, tying for the ninth position on Liberty's all-time performance list.

Women's Meet Recap
Oliva Charnuski was the Lady Flames' lone event champion, capturing the women's 100-meter hurdles crown in an ECAC-qualifying time of 14.29 seconds.

Charnuski also teamed up with Sherri Spruel, Abigail Flower and Meme Layne for a third-place showing in the 4 x 100 relay. Their time of 47.75 seconds dipped under the ECAC standard.

Flower also qualified for the ECAC meet in an individual event, thanks to her 24.58 effort in the 200-meter dash. The freshman finished second overall and now sits No. 7 in program history.

The Lady Flames' final ECAC qualifier was also a freshman, as Jennifer Nicholson heaved the discus 146-0. She finished as the event runner-up with the longest throw by a Lady Flame since 1992. Nicholson now trails only program record holder Janet Rorer's 151-8 mark in Liberty history.

Nicholson stamped her name on Liberty's all-time shot put performance list as well, reaching 41-10.5 for fourth place in both the event and in program history. Likewise, Rachel Barnes' 41-7.75 effort placed fifth on Saturday and fifth in Lady Flames history.

Liberty's other top finishers included Layne and Flower, who came in third and fourth, respectively, in a windy 100-meter dash. Layne's time was 12.18 seconds, with Flower following closely in 12.20.

Amanda Wimbush was the third overall finisher and second collegiate athlete in the women's 800, crossing the line in 2:18.78.

Mia Aghaji high jumped 5-3, earning fourth place in the competition.

Liberty will remain in Myrtle Beach to train this week, before returning to Doug Shaw Memorial Stadium next Friday and Saturday for the Shamrock Invitational.